McClelland Tudor Castle

Tudor Castle uses a very high sugar content bright Virginia with a good amount of rare No.1 grade Yenidje, red Virginia both dark stoved and raw red plus a full amount of barrel aged Louisiana perique. This is a rare and expensive blend. It is designed to age due to the very high grade bright very high sugar content Virginia leaf. Pressed flake produced in the same vein as Beacon.
Notes: A very special mixture in very limited numbers as only 340 tins were produced for 2007. Reintroduced in 2009.


Brand McClelland
Series Collector Series
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.80 / 4





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Displaying 21 - 30 of 60 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 12, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I'm finding that everything that McClleland touches tastes good to me. This is the exception. THIS TASTES HEAVENLY. I didn't know what yenidje was but now I've added it to the condiment tobaccos I love. If you like virginia or a good VA/PER, try this one. Let's hope this one stays in production. I'm adding this to the top of my anytime, all day favorites.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 09, 2017 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong
Thick mottled flakes of irregular sizes, brown in color speckled with brighter spots. Tin aroma is sweet with dried fruit notes, black pepper and a sort of vanilla-like topping – something very common among McClelland tobaccos – with a faint vinegary undertone. I find it very appealing. The flakes are too thick to fold but they rub out easily and are dry enough to pack and go.

Lights easily and burns steadily producing a lot of full-bodied flavorful smoke with a smooth mouthfeel.

From the first exhalation through the nose it feels spicy (black pepper) but in good measure, not in any way overwhelming. It sure is a quite potent tobacco in both nicotine and strength and very complex as well. It offers a combination of spicy, bitter (chocolate) and acrid (ashy) flavors together with a discreet fresh fruitiness especially in the beginning of the bowl (pear comes to mind), dried plum notes and a hint of minty/lavender coolness, while there seems to be a very light vanilla scenting on the background. Tudor Castle is a full-flavor blend and though it tastes dry I have no reason to doubt that the Virginias are very sugary, it’s just that their sweetness is balanced out by the dryer and bitter elements and is not felt as sweet per se. As for the Yenidje component it adds a tang and contributes to the complexity of the blend. It leaves a lingering spicy refreshingly bitter aftertaste.

This is obviously the product of a master blender. An excellent take on the Va/Per theme, do not expect a sweet and easy smoke though, this is a complex and demanding blend full of ‘adult’ savoury flavors .
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 13, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Yummy yummy, got the Tudor Castle in my tummy!

This is to date (nearing fifty reviews) the longest aged tin I've experienced, being stamped 2010 [why oh why can't our European manufacturers follow suit with dating tins?] and having four (4) years of age to date.

I've never experienced such a naturally sweet tin note: profoundly sweet, apricot and ...prune-like scents. I thought it must be topped, but it seems this sugary coolness is from sugary Reds and Yendjle ?. Either way, it was fantastic!

The flake itself was broken, very dark, unevenly shaped. Here again the consistency was new to me, in that the flakes almost had a rubbery elasticity to them. Where many flakes tear easily...or as with Penzance crumble, with Tudor Castle when bent or twisted the flakes seem to rebound to their original shapes. This was prevalent enough that I settled on stuffing flakes as is, as shedding became tedious otherwise. Id just roll and wad pieces individually.

Perhaps due to that this blend took some time to light, at least charred to the point of smoke simple maintenance. Once lit, it burned remarkably slow, which kept the smoking process slow, sweet, and enjoyable. Relights were minimal.

The flavors here kept my interest l bowl, for several bowls. In my experiences here, I offer up that the Turkish component is the ever-present base flavor, whereupon the Yend and Vas dance a jig to the bass line laid down by the Perique. Sweetness by Va, fragrance by the Orientals, heat from St, James, earth from the Turk.

So I love this blend, as it grew on me. Despite my prior difficulty with all blends sporting any heft of Turkish leaf-always seem harsh to me....but this blend changed my perception. Such unique tastes here, an all day smoke for me, enough nic to get me going. I'm gonna get some new tins and compare to see what part the 4 years in the tin played in the overall picture, and I'll update then.
Pipe Used: cobs, briars
Age When Smoked: 2010
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2013 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Early review of this, as I plan to smoke more to get the full experience. First impressions are good. The Yenidge brings a woodsy character which I enjoy and gives the smoke a full flavor. It also takes the forefront of this smoke, leaving the Virginia and perique as subtle undertones. I found this one to take on a completely different flavor profile with a retro-hale through the nostrils, quite pleasant and a nice tingle, showing its potency. I did feel a bit heady after this smoke. It is quite different and not for everyone.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 08, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
Tin Date - 2009...The aroma is that of pickled peppers & sweet BBQ sauce. It doesn't come through in the taste nor the smoke aroma. I liked the fresh, sweet/sour smell of this blend. I found it to be mouthwatering & refreshing. Moist flakes were a mix of very dark brown & medium brown mottled with a small amount of bright Virginia leaf.

Tin nose gave me the feeling I was in for a tasty treat...and sure enough, a smooth, lofty, sweet/sour, biteless tobacco that smokes cool & dry. It has a unique, change of pace flavor & a slow burn rate. I simply dried this to a proper moisture level & rubbed out to a shag-like consistency & stoked. It smells and smokes better a few weeks after opening. This is an exceptional VA/Per/Yen blend, if you will, that kept me coming back for more.

Although not totally dominate, the Yenidje flavor is certainly noticeable. I'll experiment & add a bit of Syrian Latakia & other oriental varietals & create a Balkan mixture just to see what develops. This is a well proportioned blend that probably couldn't be improved upon. I rated the room note pleasant because I liked the smell. I'm sure others might find it appalling. I could smoke this daily and will purchase more. Therefore, IMHO, Tudor Castle merits four ****s!
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 19, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable
To me, this blend lacks balance -- not that of strength, taste, and body to which the word is generally applied; it is an imbalance of competing flavors. Once the notorious McClelland ketchup/vinegar dissipates, and it does so pretty quickly, the smoke is dominated by a ubiquitous sour taste. It is not a refreshing citrus tang, but a sour of fermentation -- in a bad way.

This sour comes into competition with a bread-like sweetness reminiscent of McC's 5100 Virginia red cake, and they clash. I don't find these tastes complementary in the way that such a contrast works in, say, Chinese sweet 'n' sour sauce or BBQ.

While one's salivary glands and sweet tooth are "fighting it out", along comes a bitter, herbal presence in the family of, for want of anything more familiar, the bay leaf. These flavors do not mix well for me.

As of this writing, 40 reviewers awarded 4 stars, and the remaining 7 awarded 3 stars. I experienced a similar lack of agreement with another McClelland featuring Yenidje tobacco, so I'm pretty sure I just don't get along with that particular leaf.
Pipe Used: Ardor, Rinaldo, Tinsky, GBD -- all briars
Age When Smoked: 3 yrs. in the tin
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2017 Medium Mild Mild Pleasant
I am new to reviews like this, and I don't pretend to have the refined taste of those who can distinguish so many different flavors and blends, but I think this review will be helpful to pipe smokers like myself who simply know what they like. I was fortunate to snag a ten year old tin of this delightful tobacco. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a wonderful sweet aroma, very fruity in nature. I rubbed out the tobacco flakes, and settled in for a slow smoke, sipping my pipe, and savoring a sweet flavor, likely from the Virginias, and appreciating the complexity of this fine tobacco. I find the room note quite pleasant, the flavor of this tobacco was excellent, and I highly recommend it. To those who wish they could savor this blend after some aging, I can only observe that my ten year old tin was outstanding. The aging process allowed the yenidje and perique to marry and complement the Virginias beautifully. This is a wonderful tobacco. As someone who loves a fine aromatic (I am partial to Pipeworks and Wilke), I found this a great change of pace. I just snagged a second tin, also ten years old, and look forward to savoring this blend again.
Pipe Used: J.T. Cooke Lovat, Northern Briars Canadian
Age When Smoked: 2007 tin smoked in 2017. Ten years of aging!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2017 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I go back and forth between this and MV24. Different Orientals in each, and this has perique. Both spectacular. Butera Blended Flake also deserves to be in this conversation.

I don't think you can cellar just one of these. They're all three unique and special. This one, when your palate is on, is the sweetest of the group, with the added spice from the perique. I have had lackluster and brilliant bowls of this, but when it's good it absolutely sings. I blame me for the off bowls, not the tobacco. A delicious spicy sweet broken Flake, I adore this tobacco.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 25, 2015 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
An extremely well blended treat. Very tangy and naturally sweet Virginia, a constant backbone trickle of Yenidje oriental flavors, and the constantly prevalent spicy & peppery plum goodness from the perique. This is a top of the line favorite tobacco of mine for the past three and a half years. Does extremely well with half a bowl DGT'd for a few hours or even a day or two. Takes on many different nuanced flavors when a large bowl is left for DGT.

5/7/17 edit: Smoking quite a bit of this lately and it just doesn't disappoint. I've noticed from bowl to bowl that sometimes I will get more forward Yenidje Oriental flavor throughout, sometimes more Red or Bright Yellow VA, and sometimes Perique can come and go through bowls. It can be a chameleon blend and that makes even better. And excellent VaPer with the addition of Yenidje.
Pipe Used: every type of briar, clay, bakelite and others
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 4/5/6 years, fresh, a few months of age
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 03, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
After Balkin Sobranie (BS) stopped producting their excellent blend, for years I tried locating a replacement, getting close but never quite there. I was told it was the yenidje tobacco that gave BS its je ne sais quoi. As far as I know, McClelland's Tudor Castle is the first blend I've smoked since BS that contains yenidje, and I'm now certain it was the yenidje in BS that gave it its distinctiveness.

In Tudor Castle, the yenidje comes through as a subtle, herbal addition balancing very nicely with the tangy/spicy perique and top-shelf virginia.

I'd smoke this all the time if it were available in bulk. It's too pricey in the tin so I treat it like a rare scotch whiskey, sipping a bit after a fine meal or special occasion.

May day 2021 update

I just cracked open a tin of 2012 TC. Glittering sparkling diamond crystals permeate the flakes. The aroma out of the tin is cinnamon, cardamom, all spice, fits and raisins. I don't wanna smoke it; I think I could eat it.

A complex and deep mix of flavors ensue. It's been years since I smoked the penultimate tin so this I'll make last. This has aged wonderfully.

Others have described its flavors and they're spot on. This is the same product but refined while increasing the intensity of the flavors. This is top shelf, Blue Label Scottish blend par excellence.
2 people found this review helpful.
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